Kidderminster Harriers 2-0 FC Halifax Town: Sorry Shaymen dumped out of FA Cup

First-half goals from Amari Morgan-Smith and Ashley Hemmings saw FC Halifax Town dumped out of the FA Cup as they lost 2-0 at Kidderminster.

By Tom Scargill
Sunday, 5th December 2021, 5:58 pm
Updated Sunday, 5th December 2021, 6:00 pm
Kidderminster v Halifax

Kidderminster was already the location of one of the greatest days in Halifax's history when promotion was clinched here in 1998.

But this was certainly a day to forget for The Shaymen, whose 33 year wait for a place in the third round goes on.

Halifax were second best and got what they deserved - out of character, out of sorts, out of the cup.

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There'd been a warning before Kidderminster took the lead when the hosts made inroads down the left of the Town defence, requiring Sam Johnson to come off his line and clear unconvincingly.

But a minute later, Hemmings got in-behind the Halifax defence down the right flank, and his low cross was converted low across goal from six yards by Morgan-Smith.

It went from bad to worse when Kidderminster's tenacity kept the ball alive inside the Halifax box after Jack Senior's attempted clearance, and Hemmings turned near the penalty spot to lash the ball high into the net.

Town were disjointed and looked dispirited.

Kidderminster were outstanding, full of running, full of effort and full of endeavour.

Matty Warburton, so often the conduit for Town, wasn't impacting the game, Billy Waters couldn't get involved, seeing one shot go wide from the left of the box, and looked isolated.

Town were denied a penalty for what looked like a foul on Jordan Slew on the corner of the box, leaving Pete Wild fuming.

The Shaymen needed all the help they could get, but weren't getting any from the referee.

This was a pale imitation of the Halifax team that has taken this season by storm up until now. Of all the games to not turn up for, it had to be this one didn't it.

Gone was the link-up play, the short, sharp, quick passing, the energy, the control and the confidence.

There were probably more high balls from Town in this game than any other this season, none of which made much contribution.

And there was an uncharacteristic nervousness about Town in their own half, as if Kidderminster had unsettled them, unnerved them, leading to repeated unforced errors.

Harriers were the superior side, the dominant force, the ones who wanted it more.

But Halifax hadn't matched them, hadn't matched their hunger, desire and commitment.

The Shaymen needed to summon the spirit of Notts County, and then some, to stay in the competition.

It was better from the visitors after the restart, with Tyrell Warren getting forward effectively down the right, Kieran Green driving upfield with the ball and Halifax just generally pushing further forward with more players inside the Kidderminster half.

By the hour mark, Town had regained some control and composure, but it was threatening to be too little, too late, with the Kidderminster keeper yet to be tested.

If anything, Kidderminster went closer to scoring again, with Omari Sterling's shot blocked by his own player, and Elliot Bonds' low drive going narrowly wide.

Town were heading out with a whimper.

The Shaymen had another penalty appeal turned down with 15 minutes to go, by which time it was clutching at straws, with Halifax no nearer to clawing their way back into the tie.

As if the occasion hadn't turned sour enough, a smoke bomb was thrown onto the pitch from the away end, halting play.

The Halifax fans kept singing and drumming, even as Sterling's low shot was saved by Johnson.

After a shot wide from distance by Niall Maher, play was halted again when objects were throw from behind the goal at the Kidderminster keeper Luke Simpson.

For all praiseworthy support the Town fans showed despite their team's poor display, they did themselves no favours, nor should they win any plaudits, for that kind of behaviour.

Another penalty appeal for a foul on Warren was denied in the dying minutes amid some late Town pressure.

But anything other than a Kidderminster win would have been grossly unfair.

Kidderminster: Simpson, Penny, Cameron, Bajrami, Richards, Austin, Bonds, Carrington, Sterling, Hemmings, Morgan-Smith. Subs not used: Lowe, Foulkes, Martin, Freemantle, White, Emery, Tolley, Bastable, Lissimore.

Scorers: Morgan-Smith (3), Hemmings (17)

Shots on target: 6

Shots off target: 5

Corners: 2

Halifax: Johnson, Warren, Debrah (Bradbury 46), Maher, Senior, Green, Spence (Woods 67), Slew (Gilmour 85), Vale (Newby 59), Warburton (Summerfield 59), Waters. Subs not used: Scott, Swaby-Neavin, Benn, Cooke.

Shots on target: 0

Shots off target: 4

Corners: 1

Referee: Brett Huxtable

Attendance: 4,296 (860 away)

Town man of the match: Sam Johnson. Made some good saves to prevent further Kidderminster goals.